Renting out your apartment? Here’s what you need to know about your renters’ insurance


Finding an apartment in Toronto can be tough. You might not want to let go of a rental property if you are paying a reasonable price, because rents are constantly increasing.

And, what if you find yourself in a position where you will be traveling out of the city for a few months or more? Maybe you have a job contract that’s taking you out of town for a while, or maybe you’re going away on an extended vacation. Subletting or offering up your residence for a short-term rental can be a great way to hold on to a rental property, while keeping your rent money in the bank.

Before renting out your space, check with your landlord first, and then make sure you have the proper renters’ insurance in place before doing so.

What Is Renters’ Insurance?

Renters’ Insurance, also known as tenant insurance or apartment insurance, provides coverage for an individual’s personal belongings within a rental unit, as well as coverage for damage to the property or injury to an individual on the premises.

Some buildings require renters to have their own insurance policy in place, so it’s important to check your agreement. Renter’s insurance is not required by law, but it is an often inexpensive way – usually between $15 and $30 a month – to protect yourself against an unforeseeable event such as  water damage or theft.

It’s important that you have the appropriate coverage for your property and valuables, so it’s recommended that you get a tenant insurance quote to ensure you get the coverage you need.

What Is Covered By Renters’ Insurance?

The two main components of your renters’ insurance policy are contents and third-party liability coverage.

Contents – You’ll be asked how much coverage you want for your contents (TV, furniture, clothing, books, etc.) and you’ll pay accordingly to the amount you want insured. The insurance provider might also require an itemized list, receipts, or photos to prevent insurance fraud.

Third-party Liability – The other main component of tenants’ insurance is liability. This is necessary for example if someone slips and falls and sustains injures in or around your property. If the person needs to be away from work for a while, you don’t want to be stuck with salary replacement or medical costs – this is why you have liability coverage.

What Is Not Covered By Renters’ Insurance?

When offering up your residence as a short-term rental, you should be aware that your general tenant insurance may not cover every potential scenario. Guests staying in your residence could hold a party and intentionally damage your apartment, or guests could steal things from you. They may injure themselves while staying there, or fail to pay the short-term rental fee altogether. If this happens, a typical tenant insurance policy would not cover the losses.

You should also be aware that not all insurance providers allow individuals to rent out their property for commercial purposes. It’s important to notify your insurance provider of your intention to list your residence as a short-term rental before doing so, and if they don’t allow it, shop around for an insurance provider who does.

What Is Short-Term Rental Insurance?

If you’re going to be subletting or offering your residence as a short-term rental, it’s a good idea to supplement your tenants’ insurance with short-term rental insurance.

Short-term rental insurance generally covers any theft, attempted theft, or damage done to property committed by a tenant, loss of property or injury to a guest of the tenant, as well as the loss of fair rental value (or loss of rental income). Different insurance companies offer different coverage options, so comparing renters’ Insurance quotes will help you determine what policy is right for you.

What Do I Need To Know About Short-Term Rental Insurance?

Before you rent out your residence, it’s essential that you notify both your landlord and your insurance company of your intent to do so. By informing them of your intent, you’ll ensure that your property will have the protection you require in your absence. Be prepared to answer your insurance company’s questions regarding the rental scenario. Insurance companies will want to know things such as  how long you intend to rent your residence, how many people will be staying there, and what valuables will be on site.

The policies can vary from company to company. Some, for instance, might only provide limited coverage since you do not own the property yourself. When speaking with your insurance provider, it’s important that you be open and honest about the specifics regarding the property you are renting out.

While your insurance premiums will likely rise, it’s better to be honest than to be found to be omitting information or not providing accurate answers. If you misrepresent your intent while talking to your insurance provider, you could find that, should you need to file a claim, the company will not insure you, or worse, that you lose your insurance coverage altogether.


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